Food – Pumpkins Do Not Disappoint!

The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene, converted to vitamin A in the body, promotes healthy eyes, skin and bones. Just one serving of 100 percent pure pumpkin provides 80 percent of the daily required vitamin A. In addition to adding fiber, potassium, and vitamin A, while cutting down on fat and sodium, pumpkin adds extra flavor.

A little pumpkin goes a long way to making your favorite dishes tastier and more nutritious. Probably best known for the favorite holiday dessert of pumpkin pie, have you tried or considered other uses of pumpkin? Below are simple ways a little pumpkin can make all the difference.

Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack.

Pumpkin flowers are edible!

Pumpkin added to your favorite convenience tomato sauce reduces the sodium, although the only difference you may notice is a little extra body added to your pasta sauce. Simply stir 1 cup pure pumpkin into 3 cups (about 26 oz.) of your favorite pasta sauce.

Pumpkin added to mashed potatoes makes them become rich and golden in color, while helping to reduce the fat and calories. Stir 1/2 cup of pure pumpkin into each cup of mashed potatoes.

You may not notice the pumpkin in your chili, but you’ll be glad to know that this pumpkin addition will help to reduce the sodium in your bowl. Stir 1/2 cup pure pumpkin into 1 1/2 cups of your favorite chili.

Pumpkin adds a rich golden color and natural flavor to your everyday applesauce. Stir 3 tablespoons of pure pumpkin into 1/2 cup of applesauce for a naturally sweet snack.

Get the same great taste of traditional Mac & Cheese without all the fat when pumpkin is used in place of butter. Substitute 1/2 cup pure pumpkin for all the butter or margarine called for in the directions.

Pumpkin adds a touch of color and light earthiness to the flavor of hummus. Stir 1/4 cup pure pumpkin into 1 cup of hummus.

With pumpkin added to hearty brown rice, the result is deliciously creamy, risotto-like rice. Follow the package directions for regular or parboiled rice. For each cup of uncooked rice add 1/2 cup pure pumpkin to the cooking water or broth.

Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake features a fabulous combination of cream cheese and pumpkin topped with crushed toffee candies. Serve it for dessert or for a special treat anytime.